July/August 2008, Vol 1, No 6

A number of drugs in late stages of development were featured at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

SGLT-2 Inhibitors

Sodium glucose contransporter type 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors, which reduce glucose levels by increasing kidney excretion of glucose, is a novel class designed to treat hyperglycemia.

With US health spending expected to reach $3.6 trillion by 2014,1 all stakeholders are seeking ways to control cost while maintaining quality of and access to care. Experts agree that the US healthcare system must address current and emerging problems of inefficiency, administrative costs, rising prices, and inappropriate patient care, as the number of healthcare consumers continues to rise, with a higher disease burden. As a highly visible component of healthcare expenditure, pharmaceuticals have been a lightning rod for various forms of cost and utilization control.

The recent events surrounding the incidences of heparin contamination from China1 that was possibly willful in intent, as well as the dramatic increase in the estimated cases of deaths associated with heparin, point to a very troubling matter of terrorist elements in the medical product chain security.1 Vital records, financial accounts, and personal health records continue to be compromised at the nation's largest data warehouses.2-6 The massive loss of personal data and customers' transaction files that have been aligned for marketing purposes pose

Procedures Needed to Prevent Prescription Fraud

A number of drugs in late stages of development were featured at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

In October 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a program to bolster its generic approval process, which now involves 215 full-time staff members.1 The FDA says it applies as rigorous a process to generics as to brand-name drugs to demonstrate that generics are bioequivalent to their branded counterparts.1 The introduction of new generics to the market offers plans a great opportunity to cut costs and potentially pass the savings to their members.

This past April has seen nothing less than a tug of war between Congress and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During April and May, FDA staffers have been on Capitol Hill to offer testimony to Congress no less than 10 times. During the entire duration of 2006, the FDA only offered 12 testimonies. Congressional scrutiny of the agency has obviously increased in the past 2 years.

Warfarin, which has been in use for more than 50 years, has received considerable attention because of its common use for several indications and the link to adverse events, some lifethreatening, which require close monitoring of the international normalized ratio (INR). The drug is undoubtedly effective, but has a narrow therapeutic index. In a 12-month observational study of 25 nursing homes, one sixth of the approximate 3000 residents received warfarin, which resulted in 720 adverse events1; many of the events were preventable, raising safety concerns.1

Benefits of Genetic Testing in Warfarin Therapy

Health services research (HSR) explores healthcare costs, quality, and access and seeks ways to improve healthcare delivery, safety, availability, and affordability.

The Golden Age of Health Services Research

The day-to-day impact of the economy is felt in all sectors today, with each section reevaluating the best cost-efficiencies for their respective areas. Decision makers in healthcare are facing similar issues: limited budget and increased spending.

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